John McCain isn’t dead in the water. But he sure is dying. He lost the debate and the polls are dismal. Gallup has him down 50-42. Rasmussen has Obama ahead 50-44. And both polls are only partially after the debate. Obama won the debate. When the polls come in fully after the debate, the picture won’t get any prettier for those of us who favor McCain.
Published in The New York Post on September 27, 2008
THE DEBATE ARGUMENT HE DIDN’T MAKE – BUT COULD STILL HELP HIM WIN
During Friday’s debate, John McCain assiduously and inexplicably avoided using the issue that might have won him the debate and the presidency: opposition to a taxpayer-funded bailout of the financial crisis.
Published in the The New York Post on September 27, 2008
There were two debates last night: the first half on the economy, the second half on foreign policy. Barack Obama won the first half; John McCain won the second.
But it was not a draw – because the economy is the most important issue right now.
Plus, a great many people watched only the first half of the debate. Unlike a horse race, it is the opening, not the finish, that is the most important.
Published in the The New York Post on September 26, 2008
In a TV debate between a tall man and a short one, the tall guy usually wins – we haven’t had a short president since Harry Truman. Young man vs. older one? The younger usually wins.
Handsome, charismatic candidate against a man who’s neither? Well, you get the point: John McCain will have three strikes against him as he enters the first presidential debate tonight (assuming it goes ahead).
McCain has transformed a minority in both houses of Congress and a losing position in the polls into the key role in the bailout package, the main man around whom the final package will take shape. He arrived in Washington to find the Democrats working with the Bush Administration to pass an unpopular $700 billion bailout. The Democrats had already cut their deal with Bush. The Dems agreed to the price tag while Bush agreed to special aid to families facing foreclosure, equity for the taxpayers, and limits on executive compensation. But no sooner had McCain arrived than he derailed the deal.
Published in The New York Post on September 25, 2008
Facing a postconvention fall in the polls, John McCain once again reshaped the dimensions of the race by suspending his campaign and calling for postponement of tomorrow’s debate.
This bold move could have an impact on the race akin to McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate. Defensively, McCain had to act to stop the fall in his poll numbers.
Published on TheHill.com on September 24, 2008
The primaries are over. Obama’s European tour is over. The conventions are over. The VP selections have been made and, incredibly, this race is right back where it has been since the spring: a narrow Obama lead.
Whatever is left of the economy after the current round of crisis interventions by the Fed could go down the drain if Obama is elected and carries out his plans for sharp increases in taxation. Even if Obama does not understand the linkage, most Americans do and will turn sharply against Obama’s tax plans if McCain hammers away at the risk they pose for us all.
During the Great Depression, Congress raised taxes sharply in the Revenue Act of 1932. The top rate went from 25% to 63%. As a result, the real GDP dropped by 13.3% and unemployment rose from 15.9% to 23.6%.
The Wall Street mess now takes center stage in the presidential race. With company after company biting the dust, can John McCain survive as the representative of the incumbent party?
So far, McCain has focused on a populist criticism of Wall Street and its irresponsibility, firing away at corporate greed and lending practices.
Published on TheHill.com on September 16, 2008
There appears to be a gap of between 10 and 20 points between how voters see the parties and what they think of the candidates. Between one-tenth and one-fifth of America’s voters feel that the Democratic Party would be the best for the country but like the McCain-Palin ticket better.